Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Moving: 6 Ways to Feel at Home in Your New Home

Okay, you've moved.  Your voice echoes off the empty walls of your new home and you are engulfed in a sea of boxes.  It's possible you feel a bit lost.  Here are a few tips to help you feel more connected to the ground upon which you stand.  It's no longer moving.  Hard to believe.  It kinda feels like when you step off a boat and you still feel the undulation of the waves.  Anchor down.  You'll be here for a while.

1.  Learn the language, or at least the words, "hello," "goodbye," "please," "thank you," "What is your name?" and, "My name is . . ." See Jennifer's Language Page for a plethora of words and phrases in about every language.

2.  With your new language skills (even chest pounding and pointing, "Me, Jane. You?" works surprisingly well) introduce yourself to a local neighbor by bringing some kind of tasty treat from your country.  Food requires little language skills and even if you can only get their names, you will be able to greet someone in your neighborhood.

3.  Introduce yourself to your baker, butcher, the carrot guy at the green market.  This helps you go somewhere where, "somebody knows your name."  Come on, sing a long with me now and click here for the Cheers theme song!

4.  Take a break with the language stuff and register with your local embassy.  Request to be added to their newsletter email list.  Ask if they have a cultural center associated with the embassy (Americans, google the "American Corners" in your country), go there and get involved with locals that speak your language!

5.  Learn a little about the government of your host country, the president's name, what sort of government system they have, or when elections will occur.  Wikipedia is a pretty good source.  This makes you feel knowledgeable about where you live, a little less lost and a little more involved.

6.  From Wikipedia, learn the different holidays in your new country.  Read about them and mark them on your calendar.  Why not celebrate them too?  Yahoo!  More holidays!

Ahoy, their mate!  Land ahead!  Spouses, share with us how you get acclimated to your new land.


  1. Someone told me once to "unpack my bags" not just physically, but mentally as well. Often times we move, but don't embrace the culture around us. These days, it is possible to live in a virtual world, but we loose out on so much if we do. Meeting new friends, trying new foods, and practicing the language are all great ways to "unpack" mentally. I think you have given some great tips for feeling at home!

    1. I love that! "unpack mentally." It's a hard and scary thing to do in the beginning, but so worth it in the end. Thanks for sharing!


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